A home in Sahtlam was completely destroyed by a fire on Monday afternoon, and a fundraiser has been set up to help the family who lived there.
Firefighters were called to the house on Belvedere Crescent around 3:30 p.m. According to Sahtlam volunteer fire chief Randy Busch, the call initially came in as a fire on the outside of the laundry room, but as firefighters headed to the hall, it was upgraded to a structure fire.
Busch said he was at work and his deputy handled the situation until he could arrive.
“When they got there, there was smoke coming out of the roof, and they thought, ‘OK, this one’s going,’” he said.
“When they arrived on the scene, it was fully involved. It was all along the top of the house, up the wall where the laundry room was.”
The deputy called immediately for aid from Lake Cowichan — primarily for extra water. The Duncan and Crofton fire departments were also summoned with their tankers.
“In that location, it takes a lot of time to get there with water and get back and fill up again,” Busch noted. “We were grateful to have that extra help.”
The firefighters’ main goal at that point was to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading to trees or other structures.
Firefighters were on the scene until just after 8 p.m. Busch said an investigation into the cause of the fire was underway on Tuesday.
“We’ll wait and see if they can find anything out from what’s left,” he said.
One person was home at the time, and managed to get out of the house safely, but the occupants — a couple, their son and his girlfriend — still lost everything inside. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help them out. The fundraiser can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/stewart-family-house-fire-support
The family also lost a kitten and are hoping it escaped the fire. They are asking residents of the Belvedere Crescent/Jordans Lane/Culverton Road area to keep an eye out for the small orange kitten.
“Cats are pretty smart,” said Leah Owen, whose mom and stepfather lived in the house with her brother and his girlfriend. “It’s probably out in the wilderness.”